Brother AACOOLDRE : Black Academic Schizophrenia: Open letter to Umar Johnson


Well-Known Member
Jul 26, 2001
To: Umar Johnson

From: Andre Austin

Subject: Black Academic Schizophrenia (Double-Consciousness) & should the disease be officialy classified as a mental health disorder?

Date: 1/24/2017

Case Study: 001

Because you are a Psychologist I write to you

We have a serious problem going on that needs to be talked about. I’m helping a 45 year old friend with a class paper on Malcolm X. She meets one night a week for advance study to get her BA while still working for the Criminal Justice System.

Her college pulls another article from another college quoting excerpts from The Autobiography of Malcolm X relationship with Bimbi and his reading of books in the prison library. The task of the paper is to state if you disagree with the article, would you recommend it to others and how this relates to you. Keeping in mind the time & place is the 1940’s in prison.

The female is totally petrified at my rough draft because I bring everything into context about race and racism on these points:

A. The article is disagreed in part because its out of context

B. Article only recommended with reading the entire book on Malcolm X

C. Malcolm X opened up to what Bimbi was preaching on religion influence by the NOI because he was given a stiff sentence not for his crimes but because the crimes where done with upper class white females who cased out and picked all the homes to break in.

D. Malcolm X’s assessment of the books he read was that whites as a collective whole were oppressing black people.

The student was afraid her professor would think she was a racist or had harsh feelings towards whites.

We have to hold people like this as an example of how not to play the game. I will give you a sample of the paper I wrote for her with her name blacked out in order not to expose her foolishness. However, they must be counseled and taking out to the wood shed at the same type. According to Molefi Kete Asante who founded Afrocentrism W.E.B Dubois abandoned The Double- Consciousness in Africa in his later years (according to a lecture on youtube dubois drops Double-Conciousness at 19min.30 sec he gets into it. So if Dubois dropped it why are we running around trying to be Eurocentric/Afrocentric at the same time. To please white the blacks who are the help on the job helping to keep blacks down must ignore history for the benefit of white peoples feelings. That’s living a lie and being in unreality a hallmark of mental illness.

Black students are suffering from Academic Schizophrenia it is an offshoot of what W.E.B Dubois coined "Double-consciousness": He said it was "This sence of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others, of measuring one's soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his two-ness-an American, a negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideas in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder" (The Souls of Black people). We have to get a handle on this because we can pretend to be Eurocentric at work and at school and then come home and be Afrocentric. We have to pick one can you can be them both at the same time. We can't be afraid to tell white people their past misdeeds on paper or orally. These type of black people can't help black people in Education, The Criminal justice System or in social services because they focus on pleasing white people by being indifferent to their own people.

A student at a University was given an assignment to talk about Malcolm X prison studies and was afraid to talk about race. Just what did Malcolm X said about his studies: "Ten guards and the warden couldn't have torn out of those books. not even Elijah Muhammad could have been more eloquent than those books were in providing indisputable proof that the collective white man had acted like a devil in virtually every contact he had with the world's collective non-white man" (The autobiography of Malcolm X" pp.180-181). you can't talk about his self-education without bringing up the topic of race. We as black students can't be afraid to talk about evil deeds of white people to white professors especial when they bring up the topic of Malcolm X as an assignment.

This would be like talking about George Washington carver and exclude all the peanuts!

Black people need to step it up. we can't half step on our own education we come out of pocket to pay the salary of the professor and be afraid of the professor. In college we are not there to parrot selective, isolated information we are given but to bring it into context and critique and evaluate it. This is especially true of Adult learners at college.

Now with this foundation here is the paper this female student tweeked and rewrote before submitting it to her white professor. The names have been deleted to protect the guilty.

Master Student Malcolm X


LAS 301 The Adult Learner

Professor *****

January 21, 2017

Master Student Malcolm X

I chose to write my paper on Malcolm X because he’s an icon and positive role model in the black community and I’ve incorporated some of his philosophy in my own life. After I read an article on Malcolm X in the LAS 301 course work packet, (Rana, NO Date, p.13), I started to have flashbacks when I was 20 years old watching the film Malcolm X (Lee, 1992). I recalled Bimbi asking Malcolm why he wasn’t satisfied with his hair looking like his natural self. I made a vow to myself that if I ever had a son I would help him be disciplined in his educational studies as Malcolm X was when he spent 8 years in prison for doing criminal acts with “well-to-do upper middle-class whites” (Haley, 1965, p.153). First-time felons usually get probation for non-violent crimes. However, Malcolm X and his male partners in crime were in violation of crossing the color-line in the 1940’s in Massachusetts and the Judge threw the book at them for tip-toeing upon its borders and social boundaries.

I wouldn’t recommend the hand out material to anybody to read this article in this course packet unless they read it in conjunction with the autobiography of Malcolm X because it’s in part a distortion, incomplete and a misrepresentation of the facts from the very book it claims to cite from is no longer available online. The first problem in the Article states that Malcolm X started back reading, “When Bimbi first made me feel envy of his stock of knowledge. Bimbi had always taken charge of any conversation he was in, and I tried to emulate him” (Rana, No Date, p.13). I went back and reread parts of The Autobiography of Malcolm X I found the above quote on p.174, but if we backed up to pp.156-157 we get a different impression of their true relationship . Secondly, Bimbi wasn’t the only person that motivated him to start cracking the books. He was influenced by family members too on his quest for self-improvement. Alex Haley wrote down what he said concerning his studies:

“The first man I met in prison who made any positive impression on me whatever was a fellow inmate, ‘Bimbi’…we would sit around, perhaps fifteen of us, and listen to Bimbi. Normally, white prisoners wouldn’t think of listening to Negro prisoner’s opinions on anything, but guards, even, would wander over close to hear Bimbi on any subject…What made me seek his friendship was when I heard him discuss religion…Out of the blue one day, Bimbi told me flatly, as was his way, that I had some brains, if I’d use them…he told me I should take advantage of the prison correspondence courses and the library…My sister Hilda had written a suggestion that, if possible in prison, I should study English and penmanship; she had barely been able to read a couple of picture postcards I had sent her when I was selling reefers on the road” (Haley, 1965, pp.156-157).

This sheds light on Malcolm’s and Bimbi’s mutual respect, not envy for each other, and his own family members were also involved in motivating him to seek higher learning in English, penmanship and religion. When reading material we have to be careful of people’s selections of quotes that may throw things off the mark and be out of context. Plus the cite wasn’t even available for me to do any type of verification. I had to go back and reread the book without a reader’s tool-kit of an index. Isolated quotes can be very dangerous even with those with sincere intentions. Therefore, for these reasons cited above I agree in part and disagree in part with this LAS 300 article on Malcolm X. More information should have be quoted to put everything in its full and proper context of his relationship with Bimbi.

In 2005 I gave birth to my son Anthony who’s now twelve years old. Sometimes parents can come off as old broken records to our children as we preach to them about the importance of their education. In my parents tool box I have iconic figures like Malcolm X in films and in books I’ve purchased that has been passed down to my son with direction from his father and I. Malcolm X taught that three things about education. 1. “History is a people’s memory, and without a memory man is demoted to the lower animals” (Clarke, 1992, p.341). Secondly that the lack of a education is a negative cycle of a poor job, poor community, poor school that perpetuate each other. His last assessment of education was it was a conspiracy of the cancer of racism that the Black community isn’t equipped or qualified to compete for anything but the poorest paying jobs. My family is middle class due in part to our educational achievements. This is a positive cycle I intend on seeing my son continue with the flame in the torch I pass on to as a symbol of knowledge and wisdom. I took heed to Malcolm X when he said: “Inferior jobs, inferior housing, inferior education which in turn leads to inferior jobs. We spend a lifetime in this vicious circle” (Perry, 1989, p.65). I refuse to allow my family or self to get caught up in that vicious circle and I work in the prison to try to put a dent in it of others to suffer under the negative circle/cycle.


Clarke, John. (1992). Malcolm X: The Man and his Times. Trenton, New Jersey: African World Press, Inc.

Haley, Alex. (1965). The Autobiography of Malcolm X. New York: Ballantine Books.

Perry, Bruce. (1989). Malcolm X: The Last Speeches. New York. Pathfinder

Lee, Spike. (Director). (1992). Malcolm X [Film]. United States: Warner Bros

*********. (ND). LAS 301 The Adult Learner [ Coursepack]. Michigan: ******** University.

Top of Form


Jan 18, 2017
I definitely understand where this article is coming from. Growing up I was inadvertently taught to reject everything about being black, because the notion was that everything black was counter-productive.
Now that I'm shaking that veil, I see that my real opportunity has always been through my own community.


Well-Known Member
Jul 26, 2001
I appreciate your thoughts. I was shaken up with the students response of my ghost written draft paper for her.
The black community can learn from this lesson.
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